Robotically assisted surgery can deliver dramatic benefits in countless procedures, for millions around the world.
Unfortunately, this kind of minimal access surgery is not accessible to everyone.
Now a UK medical startup company is aiming to change that.
To achieve this robotic revolution in surgery, the co-founders of CMR Surgical realised a very different kind of robotic system would be required.
Compact, manoeuvrable and versatile, it had to be cost-effective for hospitals to run and easy for surgeons and surgical teams to work with.
In January 2014, company founders Martin Frost, Luke Hares, Keith Marshall, Paul Roberts and Mark Slack set out to create their innovative “Versius” surgical robotic system.
Collectively, they boast global experience across the diverse disciplines of surgery, medical device development, start-ups and commercialisation.
And in Cambridge, UK, Europe’s largest technology cluster, they found a ready pool of talent capable of tackling the clinical, commercial and technical challenges.
Faster recovery rates
The team has designed a surgical robot to provide surgeons with a tool to make Minimal Access Surgery (MAS) a viable option for as many patients as possible.
The new technology aims to lower levels of trauma, while achieving faster recovery rates and improved clinical outcomes.
The Versius surgical robotic system can be easily adopted into existing surgical workflows. It is portable and mobile. Thanks to its modular design, each individual robotic arm can be moved without any problems.
Versius is controlled by a surgeon, who sits at a console performing the surgical procedure.
The technology of the robot allows for fully wristed instruments with 3D HD vision, intuitive instrument control. Along with a choice of ergonomic positions to operate it that will potentially reduce stress and fatigue.
“With Versius we have designed a next-generation tool to fit seamlessly into today’s operating rooms, working in harmony with the surgeon to improve patient outcomes and deliver value for healthcare providers,” says co-founder Luke Hares, the company’s Chief Technology Officer.
In a recent interview Hares says Versius is currently being used by surgeons to perform a range of colorectal, gynaecological, and general surgery and upper gastrointestinal (GI) procedures.
And so far, the feedback from patients has been overwhelmingly positive, he says.
“They are very excited to be operated on by a surgeon who uses Versius.”
Hares says CMR Surgical will continue with its mission of making minimal access surgery available to more people.
“We are also working with the surgical community to assess where data and machine learning can add further value to operating rooms around the world,” he says.